According to a report from the International Business Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s clamping down on media coverage of his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine — which is going poorly — is being undercut by the hacktivist collective known as “Anonymous.”
With the Russian strongman threatening Russian media personalities with prison for labeling the incursion a “war” and Russian state media parroting talking points and propaganda from the Kremlin, Anonymous has created a workaround by hacking into unsecured printers and sending out statements with details of military losses and encouraging resistance to the invasion and Putin.
The report from IBT’s Nica Osorio states, “The details of the latest attack against Russia were shared by Anonymous on the micro-blogging site Twitter. ‘We have been printing anti-propaganda and tor installation instructions to printers all over #Russia for 2 hours, and printed 100,000+ copies so far. 15 people working on this op as we speak.'”
In an interview with IBT, one member of the collective explained they are instructing Russians how to install an open-source software which allows unencumbered anonymous communication for future updates.
“We hacked printers all across Russia and printed this PDF explaining that Putin/Kremlin/Russian media is lying and then we instructed how to install tor and get around their censorship to access real media,” the Anonymous representative explained.
The recent newsletter urged, “Citizens of Russia, act now to stop terrorist[s]. Putin killing over thousands in Ukraine,” with IBT adding that the statement sent to printers, “also underlined that it was Putin who started the war over ‘borders and fear of the West,’ and not over Ukraine. The last paragraph noted, ‘a wad of paper and ink is a cheap price for the blood of the innocent.’ It also encourages Russians to fight for their ‘heritage and honor, overthrow Putin’s corrupt system that steals from your pocket.'”
The report adds, “Anonymous had earlier told IBT that it is working on a data dump that ‘will blow Russia away.'”